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Jehovah's Witnesses believe that Jesus and Michael the Archangel are one in the same. However, in light of these two verses:

Jude 9 (NIV):

But even the archangel Michael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, did not himself dare to condemn him for slander but said, “The Lord rebuke you!”

Matthew 4:10 (NIV):

Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’”

We see that Michael was afraid to rebuke Satan directly, but Jesus was not. This seems to clearly indicate that they are not the same person at all, but that Jesus is a higher authority than Michael.

How do Jehovah's Witnesses explain this apparent discrepancy?

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@DanAndrews: What is a big stretch? –  Flimzy Aug 20 '13 at 22:14
    
You're taking a fragment of a disputed book and comparing it to Matthew. Assuming that there are no translation concerns, you have made a good connection. Either way, I'm not JW nor do I know enough about them to even consider a response. I can wait for an actual answer. –  The Freemason Aug 20 '13 at 22:33
    
@DanAndrews: I know these two verses are one of the key points when trying to refute the JW concept that Jesus and Matthew are the same person. I'm sure that the JWs have an answer for it, though... I'm curious in learning that answer. I'm not sure how any of that can be considered "a stretch." –  Flimzy Aug 21 '13 at 5:35
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Jesus apparently rebuked Satan for blasphemy. Michael chose to not 'slander' Satan because of a dispute they had. Those are two different things. I actually do not see the two actions as a contradiction of behavior. Also, Jesus on several occasions did not rebuke exercised demons and even allowed the legion to take up residence in the swine. I'm not JW but I bet they would say something like this. –  fredsbend the Grinch Aug 21 '13 at 22:18
    

1 Answer 1

Both accounts in Jude 9 and Matthew 4:10 are the same person (Jesus).

Jehovah's Witnesses believe Jesus is known as Michael, The Archangel while in heaven. There are also other things to keep in mind why Jesus is believed to be the archangel.

The prefix “arch” means “principal” or “chief,” (http://www.yourdictionary.com/arch) and the word “archangel” is never used in the plural form in the Bible.

The other verse in which an archangel is mentioned is at 1 Thessalonians 4:16, where Paul describes the resurrected Jesus, saying: “16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a loud cry of summons, with the shout of an archangel, and with the blast of the trumpet of God.” (AMP Bible) So Jesus Christ himself is here identified as the archangel, or chief angel. Now, in regards to your question about Jude 9 and Matthew 4:10. These verses do not contradict.

In Jude 9, Jesus has apparently resumed his service as Michael the chief angel or Archangel. As you mentioned, Michael did not rebuke Satan in this instance. Why? Well, consider the surrounding verses before verse 9. Jude 8 says, "Nevertheless in like manner, these dreamers also corrupt the body, scorn and reject authority and government, and revile and libel and scoff at [heavenly] glories (the glorious ones)."

Apparently, there were men during Jude’s time who spoke abusively and rejected the authority of the glorious ones. Jude does not speak highly of these such men who obviously lacked humility due to haughtiness. Then, at verse 9 Jude gives a contrast of the behavior of those ungodly men and how Jesus handled a situation in regards to Moses body in a dispute with Satan. Jude was using this example to illustrate the importance of humility.

While Michael resisted Satan’s wicked scheme, he showed remarkable self-restraint. Satan surely deserved a rebuke, but Michael, who at the time he was disputing with Satan had not yet had “all the judging” committed to him, felt that such a judgment should come only from God. (John 5:22) As archangel, Michael had extensive authority. Yet, he humbly deferred to God rather than trying to seize additional authority. Besides humility, he also showed modesty, or an awareness of his limitations.

Jude was inspired to write about this incident for a reason. Sadly, some Christians in Jude’s day were not humble. They were haughtily “speaking abusively of all the things they really [did] not know.” (Jude 10) So Jude was in essence saying that if Jesus did not rebuke Satan even though he very well deserved it, why should you (these ungodly men) speak abusively of the glorious ones? Just as Jesus left it to the God to address Satan, they were encouraged to do likewise.

So, it wasn't that Michael was afraid to rebuke Satan, but rather Jesus did not want to go beyond his authority. Instead, God’s Son showed humility and modesty. He was pleased to have Jehovah God, the Supreme Judge of the universe, handle matters in His own way and time.

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So why if Jesus/Michael didn't want to go beyond his authority in Jude 9, why was he willing to exert a greater authority in Matthew 4:10? –  Flimzy Aug 23 '13 at 6:46
    
What do you mean when you say "greater authority" in reference to Matt 4:10? –  SeekerofTruth Aug 27 '13 at 19:05
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In Jude Michale does not rebuke Satan directly. In Matthew 4:10, Jesus does rebuke Satan. He exerts greater authority in Matthew 4. The position on these verses in opposition to the JW view is that if Jesus and Michael were the same person, they would have both had the authority to rebuke Satan, but only Jesus had that authority, and Michael knew he didn't have this authority, and thus did not rebuke Satan. –  Flimzy Aug 27 '13 at 19:20
    
I see where you are coming from. However, just because Michael did not rebuke Satan in this instance does not mean that it was out of his ability to do so. He simply left it to his Father Jehovah God to handle Satan in his due time. Imagine a person who is a very talented singer. Does that person have to sing every time they open their mouth? Of course not. They have choice. Likewise, Jesus humbly left it to God to handle Satan when He was ready to. –  SeekerofTruth Aug 28 '13 at 15:14
    
Also, considering the surrounding verses we see that Jude was speaking of the importance of not being haughty. Jude apparently mentioned this illustration to show how Michael/Jesus also shows humility. I suppose our view points differ because it may seem that Michael didn't have the authority to do rebuke Satan. But when examining the surrounding verses and also other scriptures that point to Jesus being Michael/The Archangel we see that evidence is there. –  SeekerofTruth Aug 28 '13 at 15:16

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